Curios is a collection of images of hand-crafted objects that circulate in the mercado de artesanías (crafts market) in Tijuana. The souvenirs featured in the images belong to a tradition of handcrafts that has morphed to satisfy the taste and obsessions of national and international tourists at the Tijuana-San Diego border. These markets are also called curios shops. The word ‘curios’ is short for ‘curiosities’ or curiosidades in Spanish, or it can stand for curiosos, those who venture into someone else’s space. 

The objects in the photographs were purchased in different mercados de artesanías in Tijuana. Some items are incomplete, missing details and final touches, while others are finished or invented; some have been produced in the local market, and others come from the south of Mexico—perhaps even from China. These souvenirs—which are displayed as commercial objects, with some of the elements of catalog photography—are in dialogue with a group of images taken by U.S. photographers Adelbert Bartlett (1877-1966) and Harry Crosby’s (1926-) in Tijuana and California during the 1930s and 40s.